DANVILLE — Harrison Park Golf Course Manager Jim Depratt has been playing golf “lifelong” at the city-owned golf course.
Once he started his new position in July 2021 and began interacting with golfers from Bloomington, Champaign, Crawfordsville, Ind., Clinton, Ind. and everywhere he said golfers complimented the course and enjoyed the golf course scenery.
“There is no place like this. There are no other golf courses like this,” he said of what he regularly hears from people about golf courses in this area.
“Once you come down that hill, you are detached from the city. You have the river. If you’re here at night, chances are you’ll see turkeys, you’ll see deer, you’ll see geese. Of course we have the eagles,” he said. There was a nest of eagle eggs last month.
With spring here, the golf course begins another year of regular daily play, tournaments, the return of the junior golf summer camp and a sort of spring cleaning has taken place.
Remodeling of the golf course’s pro shop was scheduled to take place last year, but was postponed until winter when Harrison Park is less busy, according to Danville Mayor Rickey Williams Jr.
He said the pro shop is undergoing much-needed updates.
The remodel included new paint, lighting, carpet, countertop and ceilings. The rear siding has been replaced and the building also has new rear windows that open.
“It’s been a long time since changes happened,” Depratt said.
In November, City Council approved a $64,885 contract with McDowell Builders Inc. for exterior upgrades to the Harrison Park Golf Course golf shop and cart barn (new roof and new siding on one side ). Funding comes from the city’s capital improvement budget.
“By May, we should be back to a fully stocked pro shop,” Depratt said.
The golf course also has a new POS system and an updated website at https://www.harrisonparkgolfcourse.com/.
The golf course is seeing cost increases this year for golfers, but Depratt said it’s still the most affordable.
Last month, the golf course had about 140 members.
Golfers go out as much as possible, usually from April to November. Depratt said they took out all the carts on the Monday after Christmas and the same with New Year’s Eve a few months ago. He said his personal goal is to play three or four times starting in March each year.
“We have a pretty full schedule of releases,” he said, adding that anyone interested in event openings can contact him.
He said they had brought back ladies day on Tuesday.
Depratt, of Catlin, was a golf coach at Salt Fork.
He said junior golf will return in 2022. Instruction will include the golf swing, putting, etiquette, and other fundamentals. Gambling opportunities will also be available. More information will be available at a later date.
He also spoke to manager Rob Gifford of the Boys & Girls Club of Danville about the possibility of hosting youth golf clinics at the club.
Some other new updates to Harrison Park Golf Course include a new sign with a course map and scorecard, with local sponsors, who will be at the first hole.
The city is also installing new pergola-style signs in all city parks, including Harrison Park.